Cats can experience anxiety just like humans. This condition can cause cats to feel unwell and constantly threatened. Recognizing the signs of anxiety is important to ensure your cat is safe, healthy and happy. Unsure where to start? Here are a few indicators to look for.
Spotting Anxiety in Cats
The easiest way to tell if your cat has anxiety is by looking for changes in behavior. Pay attention to the following signs from your pet:
- More hiding: Some cats naturally prefer less social interaction and can hide for a while. However, if you notice your cat is hiding consistently or more than it used to, then it could be a sign of anxiety.
- Frequent following: While hiding can be a sign of anxiety, so is regular following. Your cat may try to be with you at every moment because it feels anxious when you aren’t around. Again, the key is to look for changes — if your cat has always preferred to stay by your side, following might not be a cause for concern.
- Change of eating habits: Cats that have anxiety could change their eating habits over time. They may eat more or less than usual and continue the behavior until it becomes a habit. The change of appetite could also be an indicator of a different medical condition, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye out regardless.
- Change of bathroom habits: When cats experience stress and anxiety, their bathroom habits can change. They may stop using the litter box. Like appetite, changing bathroom behaviors could also be a sign of another underlying health issue.
- Aggression: Cats may be in constant fight-or-flight mode while anxious, resulting in aggression toward you or others in your home. They can act out of character and may lash out at familiar people and other animals because they feel threatened.
How to Help a Cat With Anxiety
If you suspect your cat has anxiety, it’s a good idea to go to the vet for a diagnosis. Your vet can also give you advice on finding potential triggers and changing features in your home that may contribute to your pet’s stress.
We all want our pets to live happily and healthily. If you’re in the Lakewood Ranch, Bradenton or Sarasota areas, University Animal Clinic can help you treat your cat’s anxiety. Contact us today to learn more or schedule an appointment.